Pinot Noir Wellington Martinborough New Zealand
Ata Rangi founder Clive Paton has long been an avid tree planter and has won a number of awards for his significant contribution to the environment. Paton approached the Project Crimson team for advice and support, a charitable conservation trust established for the protection of New Zealand's iconic native red flowering Christmas trees, the pohutukawa, the northern and southern rata. Crimson is sourced primarily from vines between ten and twenty years of age, which yield grapes that express the more aromatic spectrum of Martinborough Terrace.
Project Crimson were keen to have an association with this special wine to help spread word of their work and vision. A close husbanding of the vines to the most exacting standards ripens the Pinot Noir to perfection. Grapes are all hand picked off vines clone 5, 10/5, Abel young Dijon. Bunches are completely de-stemmed keeping as many of the whole berries intact as possible. Parcels are treated to a term of maceration for up to a week before inoculation by indigenous yeast and malo cultures. The batches are hand plunged throughout a fortnight of vinification and complete malolactic in barrel. The finished wines are matured nine months in a selection of new and prior use French oak barrels.
Colour of course is crimson. Dark cherry fruit and earth complexity, crushed rose petal, light cherry, brambly notes and a hint of red licorice conspire to create an enchanting, heady fragrance. More savoury than fruity, a faint hint of clove and fresh cardamom adds intrigue to the nose. Easily the most seductive feature of this release is the wonderfully plush, velvety middle palate, the fine, textural spread of tannins and long, tight, spicy finish.